Sunday, January 4, 2009

Help me write my talk

I just got off the phone with the bishop minutes ago, and he's asked me to speak next Sunday on the new value virtue.

I normally enjoy speaking, so I'm happy to do it, except for the small fact that they haven't really explained what the new value means yet.

Of course I'll be pouring over the suggested talks the website lists, but do any of you have any additional thoughts to help me out?

Boy, what I wouldn't give for the new definition at least!


  1. In President Elain S. Dalton's Talk "A return to virtue", she emphasizes how virtue's root word virtus means "strength". I think that that is perhaps the way I would take it with my young women, since the idea that they are emphasizing the idea of female sexual virtue (in an old-school euphasims kind of way), makes me nervous since it has lead some pretty ugly places in women's history.
    The idea of strength is, however, uplifting to everyone and can be seen as strength in all of the other values as well. In a strength context, virtue is like the core value, since it supports all other ideas, from strength in charity to physical strength.

  2. I agree it's about strength. What I get from Sister Dalton's focus on this is personal temple worthiness, rather than chastity per se & not necessarily with an exclusive focus on marriage - so maybe you could talk about how the program & the idea of virtue prepares yw for temple covenants.

  3. In a couple old role-playing Nintendo games, when you first begin your game, you create a character and assign character values that determine what sort of character you will be. These are old-school video games about swords, magic, trolls, elves, & lord of the rings sort of stuff. One of your options are to assign a "virtue" rating between 1 and 20 (1 being low, 20 being high)... in this context, virtue has nothing to do with sexual purity - a common association used today. It was about having a commitment to excellence and doing good at all times. I read about half of the wikipedia article on "virtue" and think it would be a good place for you to start.

  4. You should definitely let slip that a popular uprising is in the works because they picked gold instead of pink. :)

  5. Originally, the Greeks defined the four virtues, or moral powers, which all of us are born with, and can develop to a greater or lesser degree. Later, Pope Gregory, following Paul added three supernatural virtues, gifts from God, to create a list of seven “cardinal” virtues.

    The Natural Virtues:
    Fortitude (Courage)
    Justice (Fairness)
    Prudence (Discretion)
    Temperance (Moderation)

    The Supernatural Virtues:
    Charity defines Virtue, in the context of a Young Women’s Value, as follows:

    "Virtue is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards. It encompasses chastity and moral purity.",17884,8449-1,00.html

  6. Sister Dalton does mention that "virtue" means "strength," but I learned that she could have gone further in her etymological journey. See a discussion (Oct. 5)about Elaine Dalton's conference talk on Feminist Mormon Housewives. See comments 3 and 11. Kevin Barney writes: "Virtue derives from Latin virtus 'manliness' (from vir 'man'), which seems to me could be an interesting point to make in parsing the responsibility young men should take for their own actions in this sphere."

    So, a cynic might look at the Latin root and say that the Church wants women to become like men to be virtuous. But I like how Kevin subverts that sort of reading, WITHOUT at the same time casting women as the ones needing males to protect them. I want boys to be told they are responsible for their own thoughts and actions, but I don't want them to be told they are the guardians of the virtue of the relationship. Hope that makes sense.

  7. It's Thursday... how's the talk coming?

  8. Ummm......


    Of course it doesn't help that Atticus had (count them) FIVE medical visits this week and I have two sets of out of town guests coming for a visit, and we still had our massive Christmas displays up.

    The talk is on tap as my project of the day, I'm sure I'll be back to vent some frustration later. ;)


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